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Kolkata biryani vs Hyderabadi biryani: How the IPL final turned into a biryani battle!

Cricket buffs and foodies share their take on spices and sixes in the KKR vs SRH IPL final showdown

Jaismita Alexander, Karo Christine Kumar | Published 27.05.24, 10:45 PM
As Harsha Bhogle and Joy Bhattacharya ignited the biryani battle, KKR and SRH emerged as distinct biryani components in the IPL 2024 final

As Harsha Bhogle and Joy Bhattacharya ignited the biryani battle, KKR and SRH emerged as distinct biryani components in the IPL 2024 final

kkriders/Instagram, Shutterstock, courtesy Aminia

Wondering how the KKR vs SRH match became a showdown between Kolkata Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani? It all started with Joy Bhattacharya and Harsha Bhogle debating which biryani is the best. While Bhogle said that Kolkata’s sweets and fish are incredible, he claimed our biryani couldn’t compete with Hyderabad’s. As a challenge, Bhattacharya said, “KKR will play tomorrow for the pride of Kolkata Biryani.” And guess what? The Knights rose to the challenge and won both on the pitch and in the culinary showdown.

We spoke to Bengal cricketer Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, leading cricket buff Debanjan Chakrabarti, stand-up comedian Anirban Dasgupta and Asher Ather of Aminia Restaurants to get their spicy take on the game.

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Clockwise from top left: Anirban Dasgupta, Asher Ather, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, and Debanjan Chakrabarti

Clockwise from top left: Anirban Dasgupta, Asher Ather, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, and Debanjan Chakrabarti

Which moment in the game was like the first whiff of biryani as you lift the lid, like something amazing was about to happen?

Anirban Dasgupta, stand-up comedian: The moment Mitchell Starc knocked off the stumps in the first over, there was only going to be one winner.

Mitchell Starc takes the wicket of Abhishek Sharma in the first over

Mitchell Starc takes the wicket of Abhishek Sharma in the first over

PTI

What secret ingredient did Head Chef of KKR Gautam Gambhir use? 

Debanjan Chakrabarti, director, British Council, East and Northeast India and a cricket enthusiast: Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer made a terrific chef-sous chef combo. In his playing prime, GG was always known for his calculated risk taking, as was demonstrated in the 2011 WC final. He brought a lot of bravery and innovation to the team. And brave innovation is what makes one chef’s biryani stand out from the rest, even within the same gharana. And a great chef needs an excellent sous chef, which Shreyas Iyer was on the kitchen floor, sorry, the cricket field.


Who, according to you, was the aloo in the match?

Debanjan Chakrabarti: For me, the aloo was Mitchell Starc. Much vilified at the early stages of the tournament, he was proving the aloo-in- biryani critics right: what’s the point of him in the masala mix of the KKR team. But just like the aloo in classic Kolkata mutton biryani, he stood up and out when it mattered the most, ripping the ‘dum’ out of Hyderabadi batting line-up in both qualifier 1 and final.

Mitchell Starc — Debanjan Chakrabarti's 'aloo' — was awarded Player of the Match

Mitchell Starc — Debanjan Chakrabarti's 'aloo' — was awarded Player of the Match

PTI

In the grand biryani battle, who was the juicy piece of meat that everyone was rooting for?

Anirban Dasgupta: It’s gotta be Shah Rukh Khan.

Shah Rukh Khan — the man everyone was rooting for — at the IPL final

Shah Rukh Khan — the man everyone was rooting for — at the IPL final

PTI

How did the layers unfold for Hyderabad? 

Debanjan Chakrabarti: In biryani, prep and sequencing are half the dish made, even before the pot is put on the fire. Hyderabad’s prep was poorer than KKR’s. The first wrong step in the prep was winning the toss and choosing to bat. Then they kept running short of ingredients as wickets kept tumbling. So, the spicy heat I associate with Hyderabadi biryani was entirely lacking in SRH in their batting. Batting was the poor second layer. The third inedible layer was when they took the field — woeful bowling and poor fielding. Klassen played poorly and in some ways is the anti-aloo of the team, the very antithesis of Starc.

In the battle between Kolkata and Hyderabadi biryani, whose fielding is as tight as the seal on the biryani pot on dum? 

Asher Ather, director, Aminia Restaurants: While Hyderabadi biryani is renowned for its piquancy, Kolkata biryani, with its subtle aroma and flavoursome palate, bags the hat of the all-rounder in the stadium and steals your heart. As a fielder, Kolkata biryani is surely a veteran on the pitch. Its everlasting commitment to potatoes and eggs, that serves as the balls, takes it a step ahead in the net practices and makes it stand out among all other players in the biryani game!

Kolkata biryani vs Hyderbadi biryani — what is your pick?

Kolkata biryani vs Hyderbadi biryani — what is your pick?

Shutterstock

If one KKR player was an important spice used in biryani, who would that be and why?

Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, Bengal Cricketer: Mitchell Starc is a big-match player, especially in white-ball cricket. He just had to deliver on the big stage even under pressure. His swinging deliveries are as impactful and essential as cardamom in biryani.

Heinrich Klaasen is the spice that completes the SRH biryani, says Bengal cricketer Ritwik Roy Chowdhury

Heinrich Klaasen is the spice that completes the SRH biryani, says Bengal cricketer Ritwik Roy Chowdhury

PTI

Which player from SRH was like a saffron strand, adding that finesse to the match?

Ritwik Roy Chowdhury: Heinrich Klaasen. His shots may contain immense power and brute force, but his presence in the middle order is very much like the saffron strand without which the biryani looks and tastes incomplete.

Finally, how did KKR fans obsess over the win?

My Kolkata: Like Baba Sehgal’s obsession with biryani. Dieting mat karna, poori plate bhar ke khana.


Last updated on 27.05.24, 10:45 PM
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